"A choice, not an echo." -- Barry Goldwater

New NTU spending scorecard released, Alabama congressional delegation fares…

…not so well.

Each year, the National Taxpayer’s Union “takes a look at every roll call vote affecting tax, spending, and regulatory issues. The 2008 Rating was based on 286 votes — 182 in the House and 104 in the Senate — in the second session of the 110th Congress (all of 2008).

At first glance, it didn’t seem that the Republicans from Alabama’s performed that poorly. Senator Sessions earned a B+ and Senator Shelby earned a B. Of the House members, Aderholt earned a B, Bachus a C+, Bonner a B-, Cramer an F, Davis an F, Everett a C+, and Rogers earned a C-. That the Democrats scored so low isn’t surprising, but lets take a deeper look at the GOP numbers.

To begin, it’s embarrassing that not even one member of Alabama’s congressional delegation earned an A. To make matters much worse, the grading was done on a curve. From the NTU press release:

In 2008, only 48 lawmakers attained scores sufficient for a significantly “curved” grade of “A” (at least 80 percent in the House and 76 percent in the Senate) and hence were eligible for the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” — a drop from the 52 who earned top grades in 2007. Meanwhile, a record 267 Senators and Representatives captured the title of “Big Spender” for posting “F” grades (even more heavily curved at 25 percent or less in the House and 15 percent or less in the Senate). This tops the 2007 Rating’s 266 biggest spenders and is an even more significant jump from the 224 biggest spenders in 2006.

So let’s look at the raw percentages for each member of the Alabama delegation:

  • 74% Sessions
  • 63% Shelby
  • 65% Aderholt
  • 56% Bachus
  • 60% Bonner
  • 08% Cramer
  • 09% Davis
  • 56% Everett
  • 38% Rogers

In other words, if these results were graded by my grade school teachers (who didn’t use a curve), Sessions is the only one with even a marginally respectable grade.

“For the sixth consecutive year, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was the top scorer in the House with a 98 percent rating — tying Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) record of six first-place finishes from 1979 through 1984,” notes the NTU press release.  It’s to be noted that both Flake and Paul have been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Alabama is certainly as fiscally conservative as Texas and Arizona and there’s no reason that our representation can’t reflect Alabama’s vision of responsible fiscal stewardship.


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